Vietnam is a fabulous cultural experience – we stay at very comfortable lodges and resorts and cycle mostly on quiet roads. Our tour takes in the imperial city of Hue, historic Hoi An, the beach resort of Nha Trang, Dalat, once a French spa resort, and Ho Chi Minh City.
16 Days Vietnam Cycling Tour
Tour Code: CYCL16
Duration: 16 Days 15 Nights
Meals: as indicated
Day 01: Hanoi (D)
You will be met at Hanoi Airport (Please notify us of your arrival details and look for the driver with the company sign). Today we will meet for a brief meeting before heading off on a short sightseeing tour of the Old Quarter, with its narrow streets where trades people can be seen working on the pavement. In the evening there will be a Water Puppet Show before dinner.
Day 02: Hanoi – Hue (B, L, D)
We take a flight from Hanoi to Hue. Hue, built on the banks of the Perfume River, is steeped in 3,000 years of history. Here we will meet our cycling guide and fit you to your rental bike, or unpack your own and then explore the Citadel and Imperial City by cycle. The Imperial City which is UNESCO world heritage site was the home of Vietnam’s last royal dynasty, the Nguyen Dynasty (1802 – 1945). Despite being severely damaged in conflicts with both French and US forces, the citadel remains Hue’s most popular and most important historic site.
At dinner tonight we will be entertained with traditional music in the garden courtyard of your beautiful and tastefully restored hotel dating from 1901.
Day 03: Hue – Hoi An (B, L, D)
We cycle from town along a flat coastal road, through various fishing and agricultural villages. You will have your first experience of the friendliness of the locals, especially the children. Lunch is at Lang Co Beach, an hour’s drive. From here we tackle the Hai Van Pass or “Ocean Cloud” Pass (496m), a very quiet road now that there is a tunnel (not open to cyclists). The view from the top, and on the descent, is outstanding and well worth the effort. (The support vehicle will be there, of course, should you prefer to drive.) After a fabulous descent we reach Danang, where we board the support vehicle to drive to Hoi An (you are welcome to continue to cycle if you wish).
You may like to visit Da Nang East Beach (My Khe Beach) where American servicemen went for their R&R during the Vietnam /American War or a marble factory and view the exquisite workmanship.
Day 04: Hoi An (B)
Today is a day at leisure to explore this delightful UNESCO world heritage town (dating back to 200BC) with its street side cafes, artists and markets. Much of the town was developed between the 16th and 19th centuries when Hoi An was a thriving port for Chinese, Dutch, French, Japanese, Portuguese and Arab merchants. Explore the historic architecture of Japanese and French origin and perhaps take in the morning concert of traditional music. There is much to see and do. (There are wonderful pastry shops in the old town and excellent tailors who will make any garment to measure, including cycle tops, in a few hours). In the afternoon you may like to take a gentle ride (c.10km return) to fabulous Hoi An beach. Let your guide know if you would like a longer ride. There is a wonderful cooking school in Hoi An let your guide know if booking.
Day 05: Hoi An – Sa Huynh (B, L, D)
We drive out of Hoi An town for about 45 minutes (25km) to the start of cycle section on Highway 1. The country side is pancake flat with green fields and we will sample a slice of rural Vietnamese life-look out for villagers harvesting rice. We start cycling (about 50km) on a quiet road hugging the coastline before a half hour vehicle transfer to Tam Ky for lunch.
After lunch, an hour vehicle transfer (42km) from Tam Ky to Chau O Town. From here, we veer towards the coast to start our ride on country roads through Saky fishing village to My Lai. The route includes 12km of unsealed road; it is quite rideable but the support vehicle will never be far away. The ride finishes at My Lai at 4:00 pm; you may wish to visit the massacre memorial site (1968). Please discuss with your guide in the morning whether you wish to tour this site. We then continue driving 60km to the resort.
Day 06: Sa Huynh – Quy Nhon (B, L, D)
We drive to Tam Quan town (15km) to commence cycling on an attractive minor road through rice paddies, salt making flats, mountainous area and later past shrimp farms. We will enjoy lunch at a local restaurant on the way. After lunch, continue riding to Tuy Phuoc town where we meet our vehicle and driving 30 km to Quy Nhon city. We will arrive between 5:00 pm and 6:00 pm.
Day 07: Quy Nhon – Tuy Hoa (B, L, D)
Transfer 20 minutes out of the city for the start of ride at Café shop in Dieu Tri village. From here, we start cycling (about 60km) on a delightful quiet road to Me Trang café, though cassava and sugar cane plantations. A picnic lunch will be served when we arrive at Me Trang café. After lunch, continue riding 10 km to Chi Thanh town before reaching highway 1 where our vehicle will transfer us (about 29 km) to Tuy Hoa city.
Day 08: Tuy Hoa – Nha Trang (B, L, D)
Drive out of Tuy Hoa city about 15 km to Tuy Hoa airport. Here we start cycling on quiet road to Vung Ro Bay then up to the top of Ca Pass (about 35 km). You will have a chance to enjoy jungle and bay views on both sides of the road up the pass. Have a short break at Vung Ro Bay for photographs and a recharge of energy levels before heading to the top of Ca Pass. Then we drive to Dai Lanh for lunch before transferring to Nha Trang city. Our last ride is about 17 km through Nha Trang city to the hotel for our overnight stay.
You will share the road with many local cyclists- the school children often doubling up on their bikes. Nha Trang has a split personality – as a bustling commercial city blessed with a beautiful beach and as a western tourist resort with hotels, restaurants and souvenir shops. Our hotel overlooks a magnificent swoop of beach and ocean dotted with islands.
Day 09: Nha Trang (B, L)
Today there is the option of a boat trip to the islands. There will be time to swim and snorkel, so bring your ‘togs’. Lunch will be at a lovely bamboo restaurant on an offshore island, returning to Nha Trang mid afternoon. There will be an opportunity to have a manicure or a relaxing massage while on the boat.
There may be time to visit an ancient Cham Tower, a relic from the ethnic people who once ruled this part of Vietnam.
Day 10: Nha Trang – Buon Me Thuot (B, L, D)
Today we cycle through the mountainous Central Highlands. A feature is the long houses of the Edeh and M’Nong people (the two main ethnic groups in the Central Highlands). We drive 18 kms from the city to begin cycling on quiet roads, past sugar cane farms towards Dat Set village, which has a local market and on an undulating route around a national park.
After lunch there is a climb to the Phuong Hoang Pass before a final drive to the town of Buon Ma Thuot. Buon Ma Thuot is known as the coffee capital of Vietnam, a country that is second only to Brazil for its coffee exports.
Day 13: Dalat – Mui Ne (B, L, D)
We descend the Prenn Pass, then take a minor road, with superb views, through coffee plantations and isolated country, to a K’Ho, ethnic minority village where we have lunch. Hydro schemes have forced the relocation of some ethnic villages. From here we continue to descend gently to the coast with expansive views of sand dunes. Our overnight stay is at a beautiful resort on the golden sands of Mui Ne Beach.
Mui Ne is a very popular tropical beach, lined with many resorts, and known for kite-surfing and windsurfing.
Day 14: Mui Ne – Ho Tram (B, L, D)
Quiet roads take us to the coastal desert reserve at Phuoc Buu. Lunch will be at La Gi. In the afternoon there will be more coastal riding as we cycle beside large sand dunes and plantations of the bizarre looking Dragon fruit (often a feature of hotel breakfast buffets). Watch out for stray cows meandering along the roadside.
Day 15: Ho Tram – Saigon (B, L, D)
A scenic day’s cycling as we bike by rubber, cashew nut and black pepper plantations. You may see large flocks of ducks being herded across rural roads. On reaching a road side temple, we load up to avoid the busy highway into Ho Chi Minh City.
Saigon is Vietnam’s largest (pop. 5 million) and most cosmopolitan city and was renamed Ho Chi Minh City after reunification, as a tribute to Ho Chi Minh, founder of the Vietnamese Communist Party and president of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam from 1946 until his death in 1969. The heart of the sprawling city is District 1, where your hotel is located.
Celebrate your ride with a group farewell dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 16: Depart Saigon (B)
The tour finishes after breakfast this morning. We will gladly take you to the airport should you depart this morning.
Includes: Private transfer, English speaking guide, bike, all accommodation with breakfast daily, meals as indicated, entrance fees, domestic flight ticket, wet towel and mineral water.
Excludes: International flights, visa, insurance, personal expenses and gratuities.
Please contact us for more details.